Influential is a Data-First platform on the client side and a Mobile-First platform on the influencer side. They have created a proprietary technology that utilizes a number of data and analytics tools, which allow them to find the most ideal influencers for any social media campaign. The company recently announced $5 Million Series A funding round.
Below is our interview with Ryan Detert, CEO of Influential:
Q: Where did you get idea to found Influential? How did you turn your inspiration into a product?
A: I was an influencer myself 5 years ago. I wasn’t an internet celebrity. I don’t sing or dance, I have no talent:) What I created were called niche accounts. It started with accounts like fake President Obama, Buddha, and Santa Claus and I found that these accounts, sometimes overnight, we’re getting tens to hundreds of thousands of followers. It was at this point I saw a business opportunity. I started verticalizing niche accounts like @Travel @Automotive and @FashionandStyle. We were selling posts on these accounts and selling 6-figure packages with our tens of millions of followers. I started to realize though that there was no accountability and influencer marketing was still very much the wild west, so I teamed up with a partner and some developers and set out to create a checklist of all the potential pitfalls that can happen in influencer marketing and that was the foundation for what became Influential. We developed a Mobile-First platform that connected all of the biggest accounts on social media with the world’s top brands.
Q: Could you please give us more insights into Influential’s functionality?
A: Influential is a Data-First platform on the client side and a Mobile-First platform on the influencer side. We have created a proprietary technology that utilizes a number of data and analytics company, which allow us to find the most ideal influencers for any social media campaign. We are a developer partner and have a commercial agreement with IBM Watson. This partnership marks the first time that anyone in influencer marketing has used semantic data to identify the most ideal influencers for a campaign. With the help of IBM Watson and its Personality Insights software, which uses natural language processing and machine learning to reveal insights from large amounts of unstructured data, Influential is helping solve the issue of accountability in influencer marketing, through data and technology.
Q: Which customers benefit from your services and how?
A: We have a wide variety of clients including Hershey’s, NBC Universal, Nestle, General Mills, and Sony Pictures. We are word-of-mouth, at scale. What we do is run campaigns with the most engaged influencers across Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Vine, and YouTube.
Q: You’ve recently announced a $5 million Series A funding round; what’s your next step?
A: We are ramping up hires and allocating resources towards our developers, data scientists, and data partners, as we continue to change the market with our demographic and psychographic data approach.
Q: What mistakes have you made and what are the most important lessons that you learn as you grew as a company?
A: We are always iterating our technology and any wishlist features that a client tells us will make their media buy more effective or the overall process easier, we add to our roadmap. Our entire company exists because of the overall industry’s mistakes that we’ve seen and used technology to fix.
Recommended: Quikly & The Evolution Of Consumer Marketing
Q: What can we expect from you in the future? What are your plans?
A: We plan to continue our expansion and improvement of our platform. We are also in the works to develop a platform that allows for true programmatic social, which we believe is the next phase for influencer marketing.Activate Social Media: